Friday, December 5, 2008

Girl was a pillar of fire

This story was [ublished by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, December 7, 1908

Bertha Thorn, the 19 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Thorn, of Augusta township, who has been at the home of Henry R. Scovill in this city for some months as a housemaid, was seriously and probably fatally burned a little after midnight last night.

The girl had risen from bed and attempted to light a lamp when the chimney fell off and in reaching for this the sleeve of her outing nightdress caught fire. This frightened her and in her excitment the lamp was thrown onto the floor and the flames set fire to the bottem of her nightdress. The firl ran shricking a pillar of fire to the hall below where Miss Scovill aroused by her screams overtook her and succeede with rare presence of mind in wrapping her in a couch throw and extinguished the flames. A physician was summoned and it was found that she was burned from her neck to her feet the flesh being literally baked on her back, arms and limbs, although not so severely burned on her chest. The fact she was wearing a union suit of heavy underwear made the case more serious as it was almost impossible to remove the garments.

The unforunate girl suffered intensely through the night and this morning on the advice of the attending physician she was removed to the Homeopathic hospital in Ann Arbor where it is said her chances for life are very slight because of the extent of the surface burned over the the depth of the burns.

Mr. and Mrs. Thorn, parents of teh unfortunate woman, reached here about 4 o'clock this morning and are with her at the hospital.